by Marcus Harrison Green
SEATTLE (Dec. 15, 2014) – In what is being billed as a victory for affordable housing advocates, today Mayor Ed Murray announced $22 million for the development and preservation of affordable dwelling space in Seattle. The City says that the long-term loans through the Office of Housing will support its priorities of reducing homelessness, supporting transit-oriented development, and providing options for families of all incomes to live in Seattle.
“Through our partnerships with the non-profit community, we are building a better reality for hundreds of families and individuals,” said Murray. “Today we’re taking another step to reduce homelessness that is a biting reality on our sidewalks and we’re making families’ dreams of affordable homes come true.”
Of the $22 million dollars announced in funding today, $8.5 million will be allocated for South Seattle’s proposed Mercy Othello Plaza. The income restricted apartments will be adjacent from the Othello Link Light Rail Station.
A project of the anti-poverty organization Mercy Housing, the Plaza will house 108 low income families in a mix of units.
The investments announced today come primarily from the Seattle Housing Levy ($14.4 million), with additional funds coming from payments to the City through the Incentive Zoning Program ($3.8 million) and federal and other City funds ($4.2 million). City funds for these projects are leveraged with state, federal and private investments to create the greatest impact possible.
“We want to keep Seattle a place where families of all incomes can thrive, said Bill Rumpf, President of Mercy Housing Northwest. “Mercy Othello Plaza will provide affordable housing for more than 100 families, and the location near light rail provides great access to jobs and educational opportunities.”